This is my first blog ever on this site but I felt the need to post it. This past week Steam has been having sales left and right on PC games. I bought 4 games that were 10 dollars or less and one game that was half off at 15 dollars. Now I have only been a PC gamer for about 2 years now and I must say, where the hell have I been. The games are cheaper and they mostly run better than their console counterparts. The games that I bought for 10 dollars or less were Unreal Tournament 3 Black Edition, Half-Life 2, Killing Floor, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition. I bought Prototype for 15 dollars yesterday as it was half off from 30. That's a steal in my opinion. You don't see that with console games now do ya. For a long time I've been paying a hefty premium for console games. However, now seeing prices on PC games and the large library that exists on the PC, I've been pretty much converted. I still love my 360, PS3, and WII but for now on, I'm getting the multiplatform games on the PC (If there is a PC version) as it will generally be cheaper than the console counterparts and will boast better visuals (can play at higher native resolutions compared to upscaling on the consoles) and framerates (I have a 5870 and I7 920 cpu). I will buy my games exclusively on Steam for now on unless there are no Steam versions available or the disc versions require steam (faster to install a game that requires steam from the disc than downloading through the internet).
Steam IMO is the ultimate digital distributing service of today for games. I have been using it for about 2 years now and absolutely love it. The prices of games are very reasonable, the catalogue of games is huge to choose from, and I can play my games on virtually any machine as long as I use my steam account and have steam open on only one computer at a time. The 360 and ps3 are trying to do their versions of digital distributing but it doesn't compare to Steam. Valve has really outdone themselves with this service. Plus Steam has a built in friends list for which you can add friends and invite them to games that you and them play (Yes I know the consoles have friends lists but for the PC, this is perfect)
Steam can also be a form of DRM for developers. I don't know why some developers use other forms of DRM and not Steam. Ubisoft, for example, uses an internet DRM which is absolutely absurd. Not everyone has a stable connection or a fast internet connection at that. Every game developer should at least use Steam for their DRM. Make the game require Steam to install and have it install and link with that users account. That way, the user can install the game on as many machines as they want as long as they use their Steam account. If the developer doesn't want to use Steam, then the other service I would say would be good for DRM is Games for Windows Live. Some games I have use this service and it works great. It links to a profile you created as you have to type in the CD key once you log into your profile. So now that CD key can be linked to your profile for that game and can't be used on any other profile. Plus you can install that game on any machine as long as you link that same CD Key to your profile on every machine. I've been using my Xbox Live account for Games for Windows Live and it works like a charm.
Lately I have been using my Xbox 360 controller on my PC and playing PC games. I bought the wired controller as I've been hearing horror stories of problems with the wireless controllers drivers on the PC. It works beautifully in most games. Mind you not all games support it but so far I've been using it on Aliens Vs. Predator, Unreal Tournament 3 BE, Star Wars: Force Unleashed USE, Prototype, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Gears of War, Left for Dead 2 (although i had to set up my button configuration manually in this game) and others. I would recommend this controller for anyone looking at buying a new controller. The buttons are automatically mapped to the controller with the exception of a couple games. The controller rumbles and you can use the 360 headset that attaches to the controller to talk to other people online. Yes it does work if you were wondering. I use the 360 headset on the PC to chat with my team on Left for Dead 2. So if you were wondering which controller you should get, then get the wired Xbox 360 controller. It automatically installs the drivers on the computer as soon as you plug it in and a lot of games support it. More games are coming out with it's support and I think it's the best controller on the PC market. I like it because sometimes I want to sit back, relax and play some games. I don't care about getting the best scores as long as I have fun with the game.
So in conclusion to this long wall of text that is a blog, I would check out PC gaming if you haven't already. It's a completely different world compared to consoles and if you can build a mid range to enthusiast computer, then you will be set. Steam paves way to the future for PC gaming and I see it making a huge comeback with DX11 available now with Windows 7. Their is so much potential in this market. Developers just need to realize that their DRM ways don't work and enforce Piracy in this market. Granted, the users who pirate games are just as guilty for hurting this market. They should be ashamed of themselves for basically stealing from developers and publishers. Use Steam or even GFWL which I know I will get flack for if anyone reads this but it is a great service that could be used as a form of DRM. You can still have dedicated servers on the PC and have the traditional PC games that have been played for years. PC gaming can thrive too by utilizing the 360 controller. I know not everyone will use it and the die hard PC gamers will still use their Keyboard and Mouse combo which there is nothing wrong with using it as I use it too but this may help get more gamers into PC gaming today. Not everyone will agree with that but this is basically what I believe. I see the potential here and coming from console only gaming, I hope that potential is realized as I absolutely enjoy PC gaming.